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Mideast data center operators should prepare for - not panic over - IPv6

By Donna Donowitz
March 25, 2011
Keeping a data center running as efficiently as possible is a big enough chore already, but large-scale transitions and equipment switching can make it even more difficult. Fortunately, according to a Business Intelligence - Middle East interview with Brocade Communications regional sales manager Ali Ahmar, there are a number of steps that can be taken to ease the process.

First off, Ahmar argues, there's no need to leap into the transition to IPv6 right away. On the contrary, he told the publication that it's wise to conduct a full network audit as quickly as possible and make extensive plans and timetables before attempting to make meaningful changes.

Even once the move is under way, it's important not to try to upgrade everything at once, Ahmar told Business Intelligence. The exception, though, is if a network is gearing up for a large-scale refit process anyway, which can make for a great opportunity to ensure all new systems are compatible with the IPv6 standard.

Although some experts have warned that a number of the dual-compatibility workarounds that translate between the two network protocols can bring performance and reliability issues, Ahmar says they can also offer significant return on investment even when the worldwide shift to IPv6 is much further along than it already is.

Finally, he told the publication, migration to IPv6 must be recognized as a multi-step process and considered as part of long-term network evolution. In the future, companies should avoid any new components that aren't IPv6 compatible, and integrate their IPv6 upgrade into the regular product life cycle to simplify the process and minimize its impact on the operational side of a business.

Outside experts say that larger firms could consider participating in World IPv6 Day, which is a 24-hour period during which many of the internet's biggest sites shut down their IPv4 service and run exclusively on IPv6, allowing them to get a better sense of the world's overall readiness to make the leap to the newer protocol as the numerical limits on IPv4 addresses are reached and more everyday users connect using IPv6.


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